Wynne says Ontario may drop provincial pension plan if Trudeau wins election

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne during a media availability at Queen's Park in Toronto, Thursday, Oct, 1, 2015.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne during a media availability at Queen's Park in Toronto, Thursday, Oct, 1, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marta Iwanek

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she would drop the idea of creating a provincial pension plan if Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau becomes the next prime minister.

Wynne says she couldn’t convince the Harper government to enhance the Canada Pension Plan, so her government introduced an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan that would mirror the CPP, essentially doubling deductions and benefits.

She says if Trudeau wins the Oct. 19 federal election and is willing to improve the CPP, that would be “the solution” to her concerns about people not having enough money to live on when they retire.

READ MORE: Ontario pension plan rules need to be clarified: employers

Trudeau has been campaigning on a promise to expand the CPP and to return the age of eligibility for old age security to 65 from 67.

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The Ontario pension plan, scheduled to begin Jan. 1, 2017, will require mandatory contributions of 1.9 per cent of pay from employers and a matching amount from workers at any company that does not offer a pension.

Wynne is campaigning with federal Liberal candidates in the Toronto area today, and says she’s not worried her attacks on Stephen Harper’s Conservatives will make it hard to work with them if they’re re-elected.

The Liberal premier says Ontario had “a little bit of a challenge working with Stephen Harper” long before the election campaign began in early August.

READ MORE: Harper, Wynne lock horns again over new Ontario provincial pension plan

Wynne, who has been the most vocal premier in the federal campaign, said the provinces need a government that will work with them on climate change, infrastructure, retirement security and the Syrian refugee crisis.

“I will work with whomever is the prime minister, but I really believe that in this country, at this moment, we have an opportunity to elect a prime minister who understands that working with the provinces and territories is in the best interests of the country,” she said.

Ontario voters historically have supported different parties in government at the federal and provincial levels, but Wynne said she’s not worried about campaigning herself out of a job in the next provincial election.

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“I think the opportunity we have right now is to have a federal government and a provincial government that are on the same page, that are actually pulling in the same direction, and that’s exactly what I’m looking forward to,” she said.